New system for new economy

Sean Coleman

The crisp crinkle of a dollar bill being passed from one hand into another. This is the new system that is taking place in the special education classroom of Hanover High School.
Recently, autism teacher Pam Lewis created a system in her classroom that allows the special education students to exchange fake money for assorted items.
“I have known from classes that I have taken that they need some type of incentive. First, they receive checks that can be exchanged for cash on Fridays,” Lewis said.
They can obtain a wide variety of items from books to school supplies to puzzles to hygiene products.
“They are able to buy things at the end of the day and have to budget their expenses. My hope is that this will provide incen tive for patience,” Lewis said.
The process of buying things is very similar to the real life process.
“They can come up and exchange their cash for goods. If they want a card that costs $20, then they will have to make sure that they have enough money for it,” Lewis said.
Lewis is also enacting this system to help the students prepare for the real world, where they may have to exchange money.
“I hope this new system will teach them a sense of responsibility. I’m looking into getting real wallets for them to carry around with them in the classroom so that they get used to the feeling. That will also help them know what to do with their wallet in the real world,” Lewis said.
Additionally, Lewis has asked for donations to contribute to the store.
“Other teachers have been extremely helpful in donating lots of items to the story, but I definitely need more items for this to be successful,” Lewis said.

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